Knowing what matters when life is busy

Life is busy.  There’s just a lot going on, and I’m not the only person to be overwhelmed with responsibilities. But starting today, between my professional responsibilities and my personal responsibilities, I’m getting ready to be busier than I have ever been in my life. I basically jump into it all today, and I won’t come up for air until Christmas.

And it’s all great. It’s all wonderful stuff, great opportunities, exciting possibilities. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about being busy is that it tends to shake your foundations. It tends to make you look at life differently, and suddenly things that weren’t important before seem to matter more than they used to–whether they actually matter or not. In the heat of the moment, in that panicked second where you have to make an immediate decision, sometimes we choose based on what we think is important at that very instant. And that’s not bad, but if we can understand what matters first before those moments come, I think it might help making decisions easier.

Dandelions at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Dandelions at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verses are Philippians 1:9-11

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

I already blogged on this passage this year, but it really encapsulates what I want to grasp personally and professionally in my life. This is Paul talking to the Church at Philippi, but what he’s saying is something that I need in my own life.

I love the New Living Translation, but I also love reading the Amplified Version. This is how the Amplified Version puts this same passage:

And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment], So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble]. May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), to the honor and praise of God [that His glory may be both manifested and recognized].

This is what I want for my life. I want to love people in a way that makes a difference in their lives, and I want to be able focus on the things that are truly important. And if I can do that, I can live a life that points people to Christ instead of away from Him.

Okay. So–how do I do that? Real love isn’t easy, and with a life that’s usually hovering on the edge of chaos, knowing what matters is a challenge. But in my mind, that’s why we have the Bible and that’s why we have the Holy Spirit.

I’ve been trying to work with themes on a monthly basis on this blog, so my intention for April is to identify the things in my life that matter and see what the Bible says. Because if I’m focusing on something that isn’t important, I want to know. If I’m spending time on something that doesn’t matter, I need to know what it is so I can eliminate it or reduce the amount of time I’m spending on it.

Paul started the process for the Philippians by praying. He prayed that they would understand what mattered in their lives, and that sounds like a pretty good place to start. After all, if we never ask, there’s a chance we’ll never know. So if you want to know what matters in your life, start off by asking God to show you. He’s listening, and He’s good at responding, even if it’s not in a way you are expecting.

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